Based on the latest VC-funding downturn and the overall economic situation, it is easy to believe that investing in startups could not be a good idea at the moment. Late-stage funding went down by 40% quarter over quarter. Early-stage funding is down 39% compared to last year. Seed stage funding has been impacted the least until now. It looks like there won’t be a quick V-shaped economic recovery like after Covid.
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Working on exciting new projects and benefiting from the financial upside sounds like a dream project to many agency owners.
But how can it be done in a professional way?
Did you know that the value of sweat equity in the USA equals 1.2 times their GDP, which is over 20 trillion USD1? I was stunned when I read that.
The market for service-for-equity is probably not so big (yet). But it is definitely a serious option to get the resources you need to build a business. It is much more direct than fundraising and finding investors because here you can take the direct route. You can read a lot about fundraising and find programs that guide you through it. But what about service-for-equity and finding the right service investor? Not much on that.
So keep on reading if you consider this option to build your startup.
One of the main reasons startups fail is because they run out of money or have the wrong team. You're thinking, "that has nothing to do with me," that's probably true. But maybe you could do something about it and actually help startups succeed while increasing your team's utilization and generating higher profits for your agency. This blog post is for service agencies who want to help startups build their company and share in their success.
1) Believing that you need VC money
Founders often believe that to build a great startup, one necessarily needs venture capitalists’ financial help, or as we call it at BV4: “VC money”. This is the biggest misconception that a founder can make. To all the founders out there: you do not need VC money to be successful. To be successful, you need a strong complementary team that knows each other well, a great solution to an existential problem, a ton of hard work, and some investors that believe in you, but these investors must not necessarily be VCs. And yes, some luck is also essential to success.
A common misconception from first-time startup founders is that the most important aspect of their “startup idea” is that it should be original and novel. The large majority of successful startups are not created with an original idea; most often there are several companies that start more or less concurrently in a given space. For example, Google was not the first search engine; Facebook was not the first social network.
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